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I've seen a few folks do really amusing action figure dramas (or comedies) on LJ in the last while. They invariably amuse the crap out of me, and I have been wanting to do one for some time. To that end, I started taking the action figures with me when I go places. Like the Bridge Studio Rally.

I didn't have a plan of any sort, really, other than to take some pictures and see how they turned out. The more I've played with them, the more I realized, dude! This is frickin' HARD! I don't *want* to be a director when I grow up. I stayed up waaaaaaaay too late several nights in a row to get this puppy out - I really want to see if this little Action figure thing I've thrown together is in the least bit amusing to anyone other than myself.

(I hope you) Enjoy!

Title: A Plan so Cunning...
Rating: Silly
Pairing: Depends on your perspective.
Genre: Action Figure Theater
Warnings: Leave your sanity at the door.
Disclaimer: I deny everything. This could not possibly belong to me.
Summary: The Powers that Be, those guys who own everything? They suck.

**Note: Thanks to chaoticsabre, n7cdrsheppard and wraithfodder on their preliminary feedback and thoughts on the story.

A Plan so Cunning...

Arrival at the Gate

As the day begins, we find our fearless Lanteans storming Area 51 (cleverly disguised as the Bridge Studios in Vancouver BC). There is nary a sand dune in sight, and certainly no alien devices or anything suspicious in any way.

Nothing to see here, folks, move along...

Presenting a united front, the Leaders of Atlantis.

Colonel Sheppard and Dr. Weir have come to represent the interests of the expedition members. They are here, ready to take on the Powers That Be.

Negotiation game face, on. Powers of Peaceful Resolution, Activate!

Elizabeth has high hopes that there can be a peaceful resolution, if she can just get the Powers that Be to come to an understanding.

"I'm sure I can convince them that Atlantis can successfully operate alongside the new venture," she reasons, confident that she can work out a deal.

Teyla offers quiet support.

Having negotiated a fair number of treaties and trade agreements herself, Teyla remains positive, hoping that a mutually beneficial solution can be found.

John, however, is armed and ready.

Having dealt with too many stuffed shirts over the years, John thinks they're both nuts.

"I mean, seriously Elizabeth! They're a bunch of bureaucrats! Talking is *so* not going to work."

"John! I'm surprised at you," Elizabeth replies. "We have to try. Give it a chance."

John slouches against the wall with a scowl. "I really wish I'd brought more guns."

McKay thinks they're morons. Naturally.

"The Powers That Be don't even have the collective intelligence of the idiots at the IOA, Elizabeth! Expecting that you will be able to reason with them is like asking Kolya to a tea party - it can only end badly."

Elizabeth gave him a dry look. "Your confidence in my ability at the bargaining table is underwhelming, Rodney."

"Oh please, this has nothing to do with *you* or your skill. They're a bunch of petty, tin plated dictators whose choices are guided by self interest and greed. There will be no talking to them."

As much as she hopes for peace, Teyla is also a realist.

"Elizabeth, though I, too, desire a peaceful solution, I have come to realize that it is wise to be prepared for any eventuality."

"Teyla, you must agree that we need to start by talking."

"True. However, I must admit despite my hopes, I find myself agreeing with John in this instance. There are two things I have learned as the leader of my People that I think are very important in this circumstance. The first is that when you are up against a superior power, it is unlikely you will come away from the table with anything you want unless the opposition has something to lose by refusing to negotiate."

"Surely you don't think that we should go in guns blazing?"

"Not at all. But I do wish Ronon was here."

Elizabeth chuckled. "I'd have to agree. So what's the second thing?"

"The second is that though I am beginning to understand those of you who I count my friends on Atlantis, I have come to believe that your superiors and leaders are completely insane. Bat shit crazy I believe I have heard them described by your own people. This does not fill me with confidence for a positive outcome."

John sidles over to talk to Rodney in hushed tones.

"Oh, COME on! She can't *honestly* believe that she can reason with these morons!"

"Apparently she does. Look, Rodney, if it was up to *me*, my first choice would have been to let you build some kind of kick ass device or gadget-"

"Oh, you just want me to build you a ray gun."

"I wouldn't say no to a mind control device. That would be cool too-"

"Or a really big bomb. Some super weapon of mass destruction-"

"ExACTly. That way, we come to the negotiating table from a position of strength."

"Hmmm. You know, I have been working on this, well, *space* gun I guess you could call it - it would be classified as a ray gun in the strictest sense of the word as it does emit powerful-"

"RAWDney! Focus!"

"Right, right. It might just meet the specifications for what you have in mind, if I just.. or I could...maybe, hmmm..."

McKay's face takes on the abstracted slackness that John has come to realize is the other man's body going temporarily offline while his brain is processing at computer-like speed. The sudden *snap*snap*snap* of Rodney's finger's indicate there's been a system reboot and Sheppard finds himself grinning as the McKay beams at him.

"I've got it!" Rodney crows with excitement. "It would only take me a couple of hours, that's all, and you are going to think it's so cool even without blinky lights to keep you amused-"


"Oh, hey Rodney, look. It's Elizabeth."

"Yes, yes, yes, I can see that. Elizabeth! There's this amazing Ancient weapon that I've been tweaking-"

"It's a *ray gun*," John butts in to inform her, eyes sparkling. "A SPACE ray gun!"

"Thank you, Colonel, I *can* speak for myself you know. Anyway, as I was saying before being so *rudely* interrupted-"

There is a pause while McKay glares at Sheppard, Sheppard sticks out his tongue in response, and Elizabeth is torn between sighing in exasperation and giggling madly.

"-I can assure you it won't go kaboom and take out 4/5ths of the solar system, and it would make the PTBs take us seriously..."

"That will be QUITE enough, Gentlemen. No super space ray guns. No bombs."

"Aw, Elizabeth, we're just-"

"No. Now, I expect you to be on your best behaviour. I'm going in."


Left to their own devices, John and Rodney try to find ways to entertain themselves. They narrowly escape being talked (read: forced by threat of stick beating) into meditating with Teyla.

"Because waiting around with nothing to do isn't boring enough," mumbles Sheppard under his breath.

"You better make sure she doesn't hear you," McKay admonishes. "She might decide that *she's* bored and that beating you up with her sticks would be more interesting than meditating."

As they wander about the grounds, they notice a lot of weird things going on. Sometimes, Earth seems to be even more bizarre and alien than any planet in Pegasus. Then, out of the blue, some unbelievably weird shit happens. Which is saying a lot for people who've been living in a mythical city that doesn't exist in a galaxy far, far away for the last couple years.

What the hell?

"Sheppard?" McKay's voice holds a hint of OMGWTFBBQ.

"Yeah, Rodney?" Sheppard's is a little squeaky as well. Considering what they find themselves face to face with, he's more than willing to cut McKay - and himself - a little slack.

"Do you *see* that? Do you??"

"Yeah, Rodney, I do." Oh yeah, John sees it alright. If that doesn't classify as a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, then *nothing* does.

"What the hell?"

"I don't know Rodney. I say we back away slowly and then run like hell."

Too late! Rodney is suddenly snatched up and whisked away!

"Ow! Sheppard! Help me!"


"OW! JOHN! Get me out of here!"

"Hold on, buddy, I'm coming for you!"

"Dammit! Ow! Leave off, you sadist! Oh my god, this is worse than getting shot in the ass with an arrow! JOHN!!"

"Rodney! RODNEY!!"

Rodney's ass is disfigured in the line of duty. Well, disfigured, anyway.

"Come on, let me see!"

"This is *so* humiliating! Where the hell is Carson? At least he would give me the good drugs!"

"Hey, Rodney? Did you know that you have a signature across your ass?"

"Oh thank you, Colonel King-of-the-Obvious, I never would have figured that out for myself!"

"Hey! I'm just sayin'! Don't need to be so cranky."

"Wha-!? Are you *serious*? Cranky? I have every right to be cranky, what with being kidnapped, manhandled, groped, and then mutilated with an instrument of torture!"

"Rawwwdney! It's not like they tattooed... well, actually...."

"Shut up now!"

"It's really not that bad."

"And stop trying to help. You suck!"


"Oh my GOD, just kill me now!"

Teyla and Elizabeth discuss their options.

After several hours of fruitless effort, Elizabeth emerges looking tired and worn. Seeing that the men appeared to occupied with something involving Rodney's backside (she is *not* going to ask), she goes in search of Teyla. The two women find a sunny spot to talk.

"I hate to admit it, but I don't think I'm getting anywhere. It's like I'm talking to the wall - coming up with a complete blank."

"I had hoped you would fare better, but sadly, I am unsurprised."

"I should know, after all this time, to trust John's judgment in situations that look like they may require a tactical solution. But I had so hoped things could be peacefully resolved." Elizabeth straightens up and gets a look that is part resignation and part determination.

"Okay. So tel me. What's the plan of attack?"

"What do you mean?"

"I was sure while I was in *there*, the three of you would be out *here* hatching up some hare brained scheme just in case things went sour."

Teyla shook her head. "I was meditating while John and Rodney were off - doing whatever it is they were doing. Judging by the screams and squeals that interrupted my meditation, it is likely Dr. McKay somehow placed himself in harms way and required John to rescue him. I doubt they found time to form a plan."

"John didn't send for a squad of marines on the sly?"


"Rodney didn't sneak some amazing super weapon along, knowing I would yell at him for it, yet be secretly grateful anyway?"

"Not so far as I am aware."

"Tell me that the three of you at least brought some C4!"

"Elizabeth. You stressed to us that this was a peaceful mission. We have our sidearms, nothing more."

"Oh, crap. We're screwed."

John has a plan. A cunning plan. A plan so cunning you could wrap it in fur and call it a ferret.

After ensuring McKay is safely out of harm's way -

"Yes, Rodney, they have the good drugs at the SGC, I've sure that Dr. Lam will give you some if you just go back to the mountain now..."

John starts to plot. He flips open his cell phone (kindly provided by the SGC when he's earthside) and starts making some calls. Sheppard doesn't have many strings to pull, but the ones has he yanks for all they're worth. After several brief discussions, he closes the phone and puts it away.

"Elizabeth. I have a plan."

Minutes after he hangs up, there is a transporter flash on the lawn. Elizabeth gasps in shock.


A growling Wraith stands in the middle of the grassy lawn, incongruously out of place in the bright sunshine.

"That's your plan?"

"Okay, I didn't say it was an entirely sane plan. Or even a good one. But it is a plan, dammit!"

The Wraith snarls at them.

"Okay, that's enough out of you - Larry. You look like a Larry. Teyla! You're with me - operation Wraith roundup is a go. Move in to secure the hostile."

In the holding tank. Or whatever.

"Just settle down, Larry. I've got a job in mind for you."

"Why should I help you, human?"

"I can make it worth your while."

Teyla's brow wrinkles up in a frown. "John-" she begins, but Sheppard shakes his head, makes a 'not now' gesture.

"What could you possibly offer me?"

"Tell me Larry, are you hungry?"

Larry perks up a bit at that, and Teyla's frown deepens.

Well, it's a plan. For some measure of the word Plan.

"John, have you really thought this through?"

"Well, that all depends, Teyla."

"On what, exactly?"

"It kinda depends how you define thinking it through. If you mean, did I spend 60 seconds running every crazy scheme I could imagine and pick this one as the most likely to end less horribly than the other crazy schemes? Then yes, I did."

"No, John. That is *not* how I would define thinking it through."

"Yeah, somehow I didn't think so."

Not your every day water cooler discussion.

"Larry. Meet Elizabeth. You be nice and respectful to her or I'll kick your ass."

"I'm hungry."

"Great. I happen to know where you can find a buffet on short notice."

Sheppard glances over his shoulder for a moment before fixing his eyes and weapon back on the Wraith. "So Elizabeth, exactly where did you go for your meeting again?"

"John? What exactly are you proposing here?"

"I'm all for negotiating Elizabeth, you know I am. But, you have to admit, it would solve a lot of problems..."

Elizabeth looks slightly ill. "I cannot condone *feeding* the PTBs to the Wraith, even if they are unreasonable, greedy and stupid."

"You know, Rodney would agree that sometimes you need to cleanse the gene pool. Our friend Larry here would just be acting as the bleach-"

"Colonel Sheppard!"

"Oh, come on Elizabeth! I'm just going to talk to them. Introduce them to Larry. Make some veiled threats, imply that they might make tasty treats, that sort of thing. I'm not going to hurt anyone."

"He will!"

"I won't let him hurt them. Much. A couple years, max."

Teyla let out an aggrieved sigh.

"John, you must stop taunting Elizabeth so. When you get into these moods, your anger makes it difficult for people to discern that you are only making tasteless jokes and are not serious."

"What makes you think I'm kidding?"

"Perhaps we should have an extra session with the Bantos rods every day this week."


Revising the plan...

"Okay. So I'm taking Larry with me to have a chat with the PTBs. I will insure that none of the PTBs wind up dead, or deprived of even a few measly years. But, I'm going to play it very close to the vest. *They* won't know that Larry is not going to be snacking on them.

"Why should I cooperate if you don't intend to let me feed?"

"Because if you don't, I'll kill you." Duh.

"You'll kill me anyway."

"Hey, I keep my word! Ask Todd!"


"Oh for god's sake! I promise I won't kill you if you co-operate! You have my word that you will be returned to the Pegasus Galaxy alive."

"I would not mind being released in this galaxy-"

"Keep talking like that and I will kill you. Now move it."

"Okay. You follow my lead, or I'll kill you. Don't make any sudden moves, or I'll kill you. Try to eat anyone, and I'll kill you. Any questions?"

"I'm hungry."

"God, you're worse than McKay. And that's not a question. And also, I don't care. This way."

Several hours later...

Larry gives Sheppard an contemplative look. "If all of your leaders are as obtuse, greedy and short sighted as these ones, it is a wonder that your race ever progressed beyond hunter gatherers."

"Nnngaaaahh..." Sheppard makes a sound halfway between an expression of disgust and a moan of pain as his brain tries to process (and suppress) the massive dose of stupidity he was exposed to by being around the PTBs. At times like this, he thinks Rodney is right and idiocy is toxic, radioactive even. He can still feel it washing over him, waves of it trying to soak into him and dissolve his brain.

"Are you absolutely sure you don't want me to eat them? I think it would be doing your people a favour, actually."

Sheppard gives him the hairy eyeball. "I don't disagree. But I promised Elizabeth. And Teyla would kick my ass so hard I'd end up in the Crab nebulae. And eating people is wrong. Even them. I'm not sure why right now, but I know that it is. I think."

"If you just happened to look the other way, just for a moment-"

"Tempting, but no. See the part about Teyla kicking my ass. Not fun."

"Are you sure?"

"Shut up before you talk me into getting my ass kicked. Ah ah ah, seriously, shut up. If you talk me into an ass kicking, I'll kill you."

And when John's brain was recovered from the massive dose of stupidity it had been exposed to, he rounded up Teyla and Elizabeth.

"Alright. This has, unfortunately, been a failure of epic proportions. Therefore, I feel that we need to take a couple days of down time and unwind before heading back to Atlantis. On that note, we're staying earthside tonight and I have some plans for tomorrow."

"Plans? Plans like this plan? Because I have to tell you, John, I was not so impressed with this plan."

"Much better than this, Elizabeth. Trust me. Think - ferris wheel!"

~~The End (for now) ~~


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 23rd, 2008 11:24 am (UTC)
Ah, loved it.

"Plans? Plans like this plan? Because I have to tell you, John, I was not so impressed with this plan."

You think she would have learned something about Sheppard's plans by this stage.
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
His plan consists mostly of the random electrical charges created by the overexcited neurons in his brain!

I am glad you enjoyed!
Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:26 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking....
It's ossum with a side of megalicious!!!! I pronounce myself amused and entertained.
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
Re: I'm thinking....
Cool beans!
Oct. 23rd, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
they should've let Larry loose!
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
I agree. Especially if they could find Curly and Moe as well.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Totally cool. Loved it...
I DO think that there needs to be a sequel, as well... Larry is still on this side of the gate...isn't he? *iz scared*
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:46 am (UTC)
Hee! Thanks!

Yeah, they had other adventures. I just have to get them organized.

Larry did hang around. Bwahahaha!
Oct. 23rd, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Ahahahaha! Priceless. Can't wait to see John second sure-to-work plan.

Also? DH autographed AF Rodney's ass!!!!!!!!! OMG, that was the best thing ever. :-D
Oct. 23rd, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Oh God that was just pure lulz, one of my favourite lines was this:

"Okay. You follow my lead, or I'll kill you. Don't make any sudden moves, or I'll kill you. Try to eat anyone, and I'll kill you. Any questions?"

"I'm hungry."

"God, you're worse than McKay. And that's not a question. And also, I don't care. This way."

Also ... sequel! SEEEEQUEL!
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)

Happy to know you enjoyed it!

Yes. Sequel Eventually. I promise.
Oct. 24th, 2008 03:08 pm (UTC)
Good, and I will hold you to that ;)
Oct. 23rd, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
OMG, that was *hilarious*! cep xxx
Oct. 24th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
I'm *so* glad you liked it! *grin*
Oct. 23rd, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
Very funny and John's our man if anyone can do it's John Sheppard :)
Oct. 23rd, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Poor Rodney, molested by a giant DH. I loved that part.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Wonderful ~ LOL
I really liked Sheppards plan he should have definitely carried it out send Larry in. Rodneys large space gun would have been cool alternative though, Elizabeth should have just looked the other way.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
This is made of awesome! You definitely win for today.
Oct. 23rd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Dh autographing Rodney's butt? PRICELESS!!!!
Oct. 24th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
I lurv it! Expected there to be some dunking but maybe that comes in a later episode?

Best part:
McKay's face takes on the abstracted slackness that John has come to realize is the other man's body going temporarily offline while his brain is processing at computer-like speed. The sudden *snap*snap*snap* of Rodney's finger's indicate there's been a system reboot and Sheppard finds himself grinning as the McKay beams at him.

"I've got it!" Rodney crows with excitement. "It would only take me a couple of hours, that's all, and you are going to think it's so cool even without blinky lights to keep you amused-"

Look forward to the next entry.
Oct. 24th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
when does sheppard get his tattoo??
Oct. 24th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)


Whoot x bajillionty!
Oct. 24th, 2008 08:04 am (UTC)
Awesome, with a capital "A"! Thanks for sharing!
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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